Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

One Step Closer To Curbing Pests' Appetite For Crops

Date:
February 13, 2008
Source:
Kansas State University Research and Extension
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that the salivary glands of a tiny insect may hold a key to developing pest resistance in plants. They found that by using technology to silence a gene in the salivary glands of pea aphids, the insect's lifespan was cut by more than 50 percent. The findings could lead to new ways to control insects in plants, including such important crops as wheat, alfalfa, soybeans, corn and sorghum.

Scientists at Kansas State University have discovered that the salivary glands of a tiny insect may hold a key to developing pest resistance in plants.

Related Articles


A team of K-State researchers found that by using technology to silence a gene in the salivary glands of pea aphids, the insect’s lifespan was cut by more than 50 percent.

“What we found is that when we silenced the most abundant transcript (gene), the aphids died in a few days,” said K-State professor of entomology John Reese.

The findings could lead to new ways to control insects in plants, including such important crops as wheat, alfalfa, soybeans, corn and sorghum, Reese said.

Finding ways to develop insect-resistant crops also brings scientists closer to finding ways to reduce agricultural producers’ dependence on pesticides. That helps the environment and lowers growers’ input costs.

“If we can figure out how to get a plant to prevent the functioning of an insect pest's gene, we can turn that plant into a non-host for that pest,” Reese said.

Reese was part of a research team that included assistant professor of entomology Yoonseong Park and former graduate student Navdeep Mutti, as well as molecular geneticists.

In the study, which was published in the Journal of Insect Science, the researchers injected siRNA into the salivary glands of adult pea aphids, a pest that can be particularly damaging to alfalfa yields. Aphids treated in this way could not survive more than a few days on plants.

Saliva is important in the interaction between aphids and host plants, Reese said. Proteins, including enzymes of aphid saliva, are thought to play several roles – some of which may overcome a plant’s defenses and possibly stimulate plant defenses in non-host plants.

At stake are billions of dollars worth of crops grown every year in the United States and around the world. For example, a study first published by Iowa State University in 2005 found that soybean aphids alone had the potential to cause approximately 3 million acres to be sprayed – an economic toll on its own – and to cause yield losses of more than 55 million bushels, meaning an economic impact of more than $250 million in an outbreak year.

The K-State research was supported by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University Research and Extension. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University Research and Extension. "One Step Closer To Curbing Pests' Appetite For Crops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211213240.htm>.
Kansas State University Research and Extension. (2008, February 13). One Step Closer To Curbing Pests' Appetite For Crops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211213240.htm
Kansas State University Research and Extension. "One Step Closer To Curbing Pests' Appetite For Crops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211213240.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins